Talk us through your pedal board and what is the signal chain? and what are your key 'go to effects' that define your sound.
I will talk you through the basics of it or we might be here all day. I run straight from slide to a line splitter. OUT A is my clean natural tone and OUT B is my distortion, wha wha, volume and such. They both merge back and run together through the effects loop like delays and reverb. For me Ive always enjoyed reverse delay, as long as there is a tap tempo option. The Line6 DL4 has been my current go to. Though looking at smaller options.
Tell us about the album launch show you had at Victoria’s Belfry Theatre it looked such a great intermit, cosy venue with very stylish stage scenery, what were your lasting memories of that night?
As far as the stage scenery I just got lucky. There was a play going on and part of the rental of the theater I had to just work with whatever they were set up for. They happened to be performing a musical about Janis Joplin, so we worked around the "piano in the park" scene. I would very much like to return to The Belfry for something bigger. We didn't utilize the balcony for this show so it's something I would look into next time. As far as lasting memories, It was a lot to take in after 3 years of work to be enjoyed in a single evening. I would say walking on stage for that show is something I won't forget
Tell us the story about when you first saw Xavier Rudd at the Duncan Showroom near your hometown. Was you aware of a real time ’life affirming’ moment as you stood there and watched him on stage, I mean did you know then and there this was the direction you wanted your own life to take?
The Showroom Rudd concert was my second time seeing Rudd. I was in grade 6 when I first saw him at an even smaller venue in a board room at a local community centre. To be honest I was too young to even begin thinking of it. I would have been 11 or so. I was a die hard didge player and my Mom took me to go see a 19+ show on a wednesday night in grade 6 when I was 11. (thanks Mom) I don't remember the show much but I can still remember asking Rudd to sign the cd I just bought at his merch table. It wasn't really until I was 14 that I knew I wanted to go in this direction.
At your live shows you play didgeridoo, stomp box and harmonica and work a comprehensive pedal board to create a full on listening experience. Is performing live the most rewarding part of being a musician?
It seems to be going that way. The album is still fresh and I haven't had the chance to take it out on the road. Only two shows with it so far, but spring is just around the corner. It might be from having so much fun, but I would say recording is so far the most rewarding part of being a musician. I'm sure my answer will change come end of this year.
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Tell us where you were brought up and where you live now.
I was brought up in a beautiful little lake side town on Vancouver Island, Shawnigan Lake. I was very lucky to have grew up there before over development. End of my teen years brought me to a little apartment in the provinces capitol, Victoria. I'm still here for the time being.
So how did you fall in love with the Weissenborn, what was the spark that ignited your passion for the hollowneck?
It was didgeridoo that brought me to Xavier Rudd, who in turn inspired me to play Weissenborn, as it was around this time that my Dad gave me my first guitar. I was taking lessons at the local music shop and getting my teacher to show me Rudd tunes. Once I realized I couldn't play my favorites on an acoustic guitar I ordered my first Weissenborn from Goldtone.
How did you learn to play slide guitar?
I was very lucky to have had a teacher available who played Dobro. So during high school I took lessons from him for a few years before I moved.
How would you describe your style and sound.
I would say my style is world inspired. Traditional world music inspired me very early on, even before my first instrument. I feel like it shows through my music.
I understand you were a singer songwriter at first so what made you drop the singing?
A dear friend told me to stop.
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Interview By Aron Radford
Where was the album recorded and mixed, and by whom?
Malcom Owen-Flood at The Woodshop Recording Studios did it all before mastering.
Who else has been invaluable in getting the album finish?
My friend Mike. It really wouldn't have gone past 4 tracks if it weren't for his belief in me. I owe the album to him.
Tell me about the hand tattoo i have seen flash across the screen when I watch your videos.
My friend Teagan Campbell did it. She's a very talented stick and poke artist. I recently got a bigger piece from her around my other arm, which I hope to include in my next photo shoot. The one you have seen is a whale. I plan on many more from her.
I have had the pleasure of interviewing luthiers and fellow Canadian's Neil Russell and Michael Rusen who built your two favourite Weissenborns. Tell us how you discovered both of these talented luthiers and what it means to you to play locally made instruments on your album?
Oh I would say they have made more than two favorites. My living room is a bit of a Rusen Shine with 6 of his on the walls and stands. I need more Celtic Cross for sure as Neil keeps putting out some amazing work. Im very lucky in that I live close to both of these wonderful people. I came across Neil's first as a second hand in a shop, I wouldn't get to meet him until years later through Mike Rusen. I came across Rusen's work at Classic Guitars on Fort St in Victoria around 2 years ago. We were just talking about that the other day in fact. I feel very fortunate to call both my friend.
Album song tunings?
I used a standard open D major (dadf#ad) as well as in C. Same in G for the baritone.
For E I used EBEEBE.
I used a G dobro tuning on Route 4.
And a DGDGDG sitar inspired tuning for Roots and Harbour View.
Brand of slide?
Dunlop Lap Dawg
LR BAGGS M1
16-56 and 14-60 mostly. I go much lighter on Neil's older collection of course.
Fingers or picks?
100% fingers. I'm still not a fan of picks.
It comes across even to the casual passer-by that you have an incredibly strong affinity with nature and environmental issues and these are very prevalent in your music.
Well thank you. It's always been an issue that hits home for me. I'm lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet with such an important ecosystem.
How long from conception to completion has 'Pacific Blood' taken?
It was around a 3 year process. Lot's changed about it in that time. Originally planned as a 4-6 song ep that quickly grew to a 12 song full length album. I owe a big thanks to Mike for that.
“This is life music that you will attach precious memories to” is how I described the album when I reviewed it. What has been the feedback and reviews been like for the album in your own country.
It's been great. I will be happy for summer to arrive so I can hit the markets and festivals and get it out to more people.
What lessons and new skills have you learned along the way recording the album?
Slow down. Take your time. Be open to new ideas. The importance of the people in the room during recording I felt made all the difference. I was lucky to record it with two amazing friends from start to finish. I don't think it would have been the same with either of the two missing.
What have been the lows and what have been the highs writing and recording PB?
To be honest, there wasn't a single low. Perhaps the only low was finishing recording? The amount of fun I had in the studio and writing the album was about the most fun I've ever had to date. If we weren't in studio recording, we were camping and visiting my favourite places on the island. I hope to repeat that in my next project.
Purchase "Pacific Blood' by Adam Bay on iTunes
Was the album title an easy one to choose?
The title was easy to choose. It was picked back when I was first looking at only doing 4 songs. The rest grew around that concept but the project as a whole remained the same, just more tracks added.
Talk us through the different instruments you used to record PB, there were some vintage instruments used on the album I believe as well as a bootsale home made dinner plate lapsteel?
I only used a few of my own weissenborns as Neil Russell from Celtic Cross Instruments was kind enough to open his collection for the album. They ranged in age from 30-40 years old to over a 100. Had this album taken place anywhere else, that amazing opportunity wouldn't have been there. The silver plate and bowl combo came into life right as we were wrapping up recording so it never made it to the album sadly, but came in great use for the album release. It's made by my friend Warren from Billyhill Guitars.
The songwriting process? Do you have a particular way of writing music. Is it a slow evolving process or a quick flash of inspiration?
Each song was similar in that I go camping, road trip or whereever else I enjoy and sometimes bring a slide to play. Either way the writing usually starts when I get back home and reflect. Some were written very fast, much faster than I'm used to. Some took longer, a week or two. Overall I didn't get too wrapped in my head as it all felt very natural.
Most satisfying tracks on the album and why?
'Pacific Blood' for sure. It was done on the first two day session. That was a special one, not for being the title track, but because it was recorded on a Herrman Weissenborn original. 'Two Tides' I felt we all had a lot of fun with once we got the ball rolling. But a standout was 'Route 4'. Most of it was written morning of and in studio between editing takes.
The hand painted album artwork is so perfect for you, tell us who the artist is and why you chose it?
Her name is Claire Watson. Her and her family live on a sailboat in the Tofino harbour. I have a huge respect for her work so when we first started talking about it I just said do whatever feels right and I will be happy. I didn't want to restrict her creativity outside some basic album art guidelines for placement and such. So she sat on her boat and went to work. I was and am still thrilled with how her art turned out for it.
Crowd fund raising campaign. Tell us how and why you opted to use this method and without it would the album have got finished.
Well we didn't raise the full amount needed but the support I was given through it payed off mixing the album. As you know, going into a high end studio can break the bank pretty quick. It absolutely would have still been finished, only difference I think is that we would be chatting a month or two from now. I had no intentions of stopping until it was done, one way or another.
Short term plans?
Pay off some album debts, book summer gigs and a new Weissenborn. And maybe a new didgeridoo or two.. Also Ive heard interest in having 'Pacific Blood ' on vinyl.
Long term plans?
I have started thinking about another release. Perhaps not until 2018 or 2019, but I have some cool ideas for it already.
Record as much as possible and push the limits of the Weissenborn.
Purchase "Pacific Blood' by Adam Bay on Bandcamp
Canadian instrumentalist Adam Bay was 2016's winner of the annual TWiE "Weissenborn Album Of The Year" award with his amazing debut album "Pacific Blood". Previous winners of the award include such Weissenborn luminaries as Thomas Oliver, John Wilde and Martin Harley. So it was inevitable that an interview for the website was to follow shortly, and so here it is. Adam has taken great care, time and attention to detail to make his debut album impactful and in my review I summed it up by saying ...."On first play I was totally captivated and the whole listening experience was sensually immersive. Simple but effective melodies gliding and soaring over lush ambient soundscapes. Pacific Blood is deliciously melodious and genuinely heart warming. A release that oozes charm and expressiveness".... I caught up with Adam not long after the albums release and asked him to reflect on the whole 'album making' experience.
Hi Adam. Congratulations on such a wonderful debut album. It must have been such a liberating and uplifting experience releasing it after all the years of planning and waiting?
Thank you very much, and it definitely was. As far as working on it it's been a 3 year process but it's been a goal of mine for much, much longer.
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